Walking the Log: Memories of a Southern Childhood

Walking the Log: Memories of a Southern Childhood

by Bessie Nickens
     
 
When Bessie Nickens was a young girl in the 1910s, she traveled throughout Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas as her parents worked in the saw mills, oil fields, and cotton patches of the American South.

Overview

When Bessie Nickens was a young girl in the 1910s, she traveled throughout Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas as her parents worked in the saw mills, oil fields, and cotton patches of the American South.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Nickens, an 88-year-old self-taught painter, engagingly reminisces about her childhood in various African American communities in the South. A series of soft paintings in a flat, nave style capture moments both timeless and historical (e.g., ``Picking Wildflowers,'' ``Hide and Go Seek'' and ``Saturday Night Bath''). Poverty is in evidence (children run barefoot, home is a dilapidated shack) but the joy of childhood transcends. In informal, conversational language, Nickens describes each painting, the activities and people portrayed, and expands as memories surge upon her. For a moment she steps into the past-into the one-room schoolhouse or the flowering woods-then, with a question or a comparison, moves back to the present. This wonderful oral history recreates a world of swings and doodlebugs, Sunday best clothes and kites; adult figures are peripheral. In the same way, racial injustice is touched upon by implication (``I wanted to be a schoolteacher.... That was about the only professional job black people did at the time, teaching school''). An unusually appealing historical document, and an unself-conscious introduction to art. Ages 7-up. (Oct.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780847817948
Publisher:
Rizzoli
Publication date:
12/01/1994
Pages:
30
Product dimensions:
8.92(w) x 10.56(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

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